If the timing light comes on, you should drive the car directly to the car mechanic, as it indicates a malfunction. Your timing belt might be damaged, worn out, or have other problems which require diagnosis and repair. However, Sometimes, the timing light remains on even after replacing the belt; a simple reset will fix it.
If you’ve noticed that your timing belt light has come on, you might wonder how long you have before fixing it. It’s essential to take the timing belt light seriously and address the issue promptly to avoid costly repairs down the road.
So, how long after timing belt light comes on?
The first thing you should do is determine whether you can drive the vehicle after the timing belt (T-BELT) light comes on. So, let’s figure out that first.
Can You Drive After Timing Belt Light Comes On?
In short, you can, but the answer depends on several factors. Driving a car is generally not recommended after the timing belt light comes on. This can result in further damage to the timing belt, which can be costly to repair or replace. It is best to take the car to a qualified mechanic to assess the issue and determine what repairs are needed.
How Long Can You Drive After Timing Belt Light Comes On?
The answer to this question is not definitive since it depends on the condition and severity of the malfunction. The timing belt light appears when there’s an issue with the engine’s timing belt system. So, until you inspect and diagnose the problem, it’s impossible to determine how long you can continue driving the vehicle.
For instance, if the timing belt has worn-out teeth, you can drive some miles with it in emergencies but remember it’s not recommended. I will discuss other possible scenarios and their solutions later; let’s look at the consequences first.
What are the Consequences of Driving With Timing Belt Lights On?
The timing belt light indicates that you should immediately diagnose the belt and take the necessary steps to solve the problem. The vehicle will show symptoms when the timing belt is bad and can break if you continue to drive without solving the issue.
Besides the warning light, here are some warning signs before the timing belt breaks.
- Engine Stalling: If the timing belt is worn out or damaged, it can cause engine stalling. However, don’t lubricate the timing belt no matter how damaged it is. Stalling can occur when a belt or chain skips a tooth during rotation. As a result, the engine is desynchronized, resulting in the vehicle stalling.
- Engine Misfiring: Another consequence is engine misfiring. Timing belt damage can cause the valves to open and close at the wrong times, disrupting the engine’s regular operation and causing it to misfire.
- Engine Won’t Start: If you have a bad timing belt, your engine may not start. Also, sometimes the engine suddenly stops while running. If the timing belt breaks while running, it can lead to serious engine damage.
- Weird Noises: A faulty timing belt can cause weird rattling or squeaking noises while running. This is a sign that means you need to change the timing belt.
If you come across the above symptoms, that indicates your timing belt has serious issues that you need to resolve. Now, It’s time to find out why your timing belt light is on.
Summary:If your timing belt is worn out or damaged, it can cause engine stalling, engine misfiring, engine won’t start, and the engine suddenly stopping while running. If the timing belt breaks while running, it can lead to serious engine damage.
What Causes Timing Belt Light to Come On?
There are three primary reasons why the timing belt indicator light comes on. You already know the first one; as discussed earlier, the light will come on if the timing belt malfunctions.
The second reason indicates that the timing belt has reached its recommended changing interval time period. Typically, the recommended replacement interval is after every 60k to 100k miles, but it can vary based on different manufacturers.
As for the third reason, the light may still come on after replacing the timing belt. In that case, you don’t have to worry about it; you only need a simple reset to turn off the light.
For instance, the timing belt warning light on Toyota Hilux may indicate a “T-BELT” warning sign on the screen even after replacing the belt.
What Should You Do When Timing Belt Light Comes On?
I have discussed three reasons earlier why the timing belt light comes on. Now let’s talk about what to do when you see the timing light is on.
|There’s an issue with the timing belt (damage/contamination/worn-out teeth, misalignment, etc.)||Contact a mechanic or take the vehicle to the nearest service center for diagnosis.|
|The car has reached the recommended mileage of the timing belt’s lifespan.||Timing belts need to be replaced. You can DIY or get help from an expert.|
|The indicator light comes on even after replacing the timing belt.||Check the tensioners and ensure the timing belt is properly installed. If the light is still on, perform a reset.|
Now let’s talk about the solutions in detail. Read on if you are wondering how the replacement and reset process should proceed. Let me explain both procedures.
How to Replace the Timing Belt?
To replace your vehicle’s timing belt, follow the steps below thoroughly.
- Timing Belt Kit
- Combination Socket Set
Step 1: Remove the engine cover and any other parts that are blocking access to the timing belt.
Step 2: Locate the timing belt tensioner and use a wrench to loosen it.
Step 3: Slowly release the tension on the timing belt, being careful not to let it snap back.
Step 4: Remove the timing belt from the engine, not damaging any of the components.
Step 5: If you are replacing the tensioner or other components, install them now.
Step 6: Install the new timing belt, ensuring it is properly aligned with all the pulleys.
Step 7: Use the wrench to tension the timing belt, following the manufacturer’s recommended tension specifications.
Step 8: Finally, reinstall the engine cover and any other parts that you removed. Now, turn on the engine to ensure it’s working properly.
By following the above steps correctly, you can easily replace the timing belt on your vehicle at home without extra cost. However, changing timing belts is a complex process; if you’re not confident and haven’t done it before, get the help of a mechanic.
Note:The above steps are a quick overview of the general procedure of changing timing belts. For a more detailed step-by-step guide, refer to the below video tutorials.
Watch this video to learn how to replace a timing belt on almost any car.
How to Switch off the Timing Belt (T-BELT) Warning Light?
You can easily switch off or reset the timing belt warning light by disconnecting the negative terminal from the battery. After disconnecting, wait about 1 or 2 minutes, then connect it again. The timing belt indicator light should be gone now.
Here’s a video guide on how to reset the timing belt light on almost any vehicle.How To Reset The Check Engine Light-EASY And FREE
This method is universal and works for almost every car. However, in some car models like Chevy Cruze, you need to disconnect the fuse to reset the warning light. Usually, the fuse box it’s located on the left-bottom side of the steering and looks like a drawer. But the location may vary based on different models, so check the user manual to find out.
Here’s how to reset the timing belt light on Chevy Cruze. Watch the below video.How to reset timing belt light warning reset 2011-2016 Chevrolet Cruze-Sonic
If you’re using a Toyota Hilux or Toyota Innova, refer to the steps below.
How to Switch Off Timing Belt Warning light on Toyota Hilux?
To reset the timing belt light (T-BELT) on a Toyota Hilux, follow these steps:
Step 1: Turn the ignition key to the “ON” position, but do not start the engine.
Step 2: Press the trip meter reset button located on the instrument panel until the T-BELT light starts flashing.
Step 3: Turn the ignition key to the “OFF” position. Wait a few seconds, then turn the ignition key back to the “ON” position.
Step 4: Press the trip meter reset button again, and you’ll see a single-digit number that refers to mileage. The number can be either 5, 8, 15, or anything in between. The number refers to the thousand miles; for example, 15 means 15 thousand miles.
Step 5: You must manually set the mileage settings for the timing light. If you set it to 15, the warning light will reappear after driving 15 thousand miles, and so on. So set the settings per your requirement by pressing the trip meter button.
Step 5: Finally, press and hold the button for at least 5 seconds, and the light should be gone now. Restart the engine and verify that the T-BELT light is no longer appearing.
If you follow the steps above correctly, you can successfully switch off/reset the timing belt on your Toyota Hilux. Consider watching this full video tutorial if needed.
How to Switch off Timing Belt Warning Light on Toyota Innova?
The process of switching off/resetting the timing belt is almost the same as the Toyota Hilux. Follow the above steps accordingly. Watch this video if you need clarification.
Here’s the video guide on how to reset the timing belt warning light on Toyota Innova.
Things to Consider While Resetting Timing Belt Light
First, ensure that the timing belt has been properly replaced and is in good condition. If the timing belt is damaged or worn, resetting the light will not fix the problem and could lead to further engine damage.
Secondly, check the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals for the timing belt. If the timing belt has not been replaced at the recommended intervals, resetting the light may not be sufficient to ensure the long-term health of the engine.
Thirdly, follow the correct procedure for resetting the timing belt light, as outlined in the owner’s manual or by a mechanic. If the light is not reset properly, it may continue to flash or come back on later.
Additionally, monitor the T-BELT light after resetting it. If the light comes back on, it could indicate a problem with the timing belt or related components. In this case, it is important to have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic as soon as possible.
Lastly, resetting the timing belt light does not substitute for regular maintenance and service. It is important to have the timing belt replaced at the recommended intervals and to address any issues with the belt or related components as soon as they are identified.
While dealing with the timing belt, don’t get confused between V-belts, timing belts, and flat belts; they’re different things.
Summary:Follow the correct procedure for resetting the timing belt light, and monitor the T-BELT light after resetting it. If the light comes back on, have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic as soon as possible.
How Often Can the Timing Belts Actually Break?
If the timing belt is not replaced at the recommended intervals, it is at risk of breaking while the engine runs. Typically, the recommended changing interval is after every 60k to 100k miles. However, the interval period may vary based on manufacturers.
Some timing belts may last longer, while others may need to be replaced sooner, depending on the vehicle’s driving conditions. For instance, oil or other contaminants can wear out timing belts more quickly over time than usual.
Can a Bad Timing Belt Cause Check Engine Light On?
Yes, as discussed earlier, the engine light comes on if there’s an issue with any of the engine components. It can be the timing belt/chain, tensioner pulleys, oil leak, or other complications. You will see an engine error code and a warning light appear on the screen. If it happens, consult a mechanic immediately to diagnose and fix it.
What Happens If the Timing Belt Breaks While Driving?
If the timing belt breaks while driving, it can cause serious engine damage. Timing belts synchronize the rotation of camshafts and crankshafts. As a result, if it breaks, the engine will lose power and may not run at all. Sometimes, the valves may be bent and the pistons damaged, leading to costly repairs.
How Do I Protect My Timing Belt?
To protect your timing belt, there are a few practical steps you can take. First and foremost, make sure to have it inspected and replaced at the recommended intervals specified by your vehicle’s manufacturer. In addition, it is always important to keep the belt and its surrounding components clean and debris free.
What to Do After the Timing Belt Change?
After a timing belt change, it’s essential to start the engine and check for proper timing, leaks, and abnormal noises. Be sure to check the tension and alignment of all drive belts and adjust accordingly. The final step is to check the oil pressure and adjust the valve clearance if necessary.
The Bottom Line
You have been very patient so far. Thank you very much. That was everything to say about your query on how long after timing belt light comes on. Hopefully, you’ve got all the answers and confusion cleared.
To avoid costly repairs and unexpected consequences, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. No more today. Goodbye, and drive safe.